The quality of education a child receives should not depend on that child’s zip code or socioeconomic status. But in Nashville— a city known for economic growth and opportunity— it still very much does. Too many students are being left behind.
At the Scarlett Family Foundation, we have sought to compile and share data in a clear, concise format, and use this information to help tackle some of our city’s most pressing education questions. By looking at the Metro Nashville Cluster-level information, it is clear how starkly different a student’s school journey looks based upon his or her address.
This week, the Tennessean released the first story in a year-long series examining the inequity in our city’s education system:
Children do not have an equal chance of success. An entire segment of students has been left behind, creating a divide between the prosperity of the city and the future of its youth.
“Nashville is such a paradoxical place,” said Ansley Erickson, a Columbia University professor who researches inequity in urban education. The city’s breathtaking prosperity has been “distributed so fundamentally inequitably.”
Nashville boasts a pair of magnet schools that stand among the best in the country. But for every great school the city has, there are many more that struggle. Nashville has 21 of the lowest-academically performing schools in the state, most of which serve the city’s poorest children.”
We know the inequities are stark. The greatest question facing us now is: what can we do about it?